Mole Chicken Chili

One of the defining features of Mexican mole is a touch of chocolate in the sauce, and we've mimicked the effect with a few tablespoons of cocoa powder in this low-cal chili!
MoleChili_Article

Photo: Edward Pond

By Emily Christopher

Serves: 8
Hands-on time: 18 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 lb ground chicken breast
  • 1 tsp chipotle chile powder
  • 1 tsp ancho chile powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 28 oz boxed diced tomatoes with juices
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups cooked red kidney beans or BPA-free canned red kidney beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

INSTRUCTIONS:

In a large stockpot, heat oil on medium-high. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is fragrant and onion softens, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chicken, breaking up with a wooden spoon, and sprinkle with chipotle chile powder, ancho chile powder, cumin, cinnamon, paprika and cloves. Cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is well browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add both bell peppers and stir constantly for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, broth, beans and cocoa powder, stirring to combine. Bring to a simmer; reduce heat to medium-low and cook until chicken is tender, about 30 minutes.

Nutrients per serving (1 cup): Calories: 255, Total Fat: 10 g, Sat. Fat: 3 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g, Carbs: 18 g, Fiber: 7 g, Sugars: 4 g, Protein: 24 g, Sodium: 113 mg, Cholesterol: 86 mg

Nutritional Bonus: Unsweetened cocoa powder adds a warm richness to this chili, but it also lends a host of nutritional benefits. The dark sweetener is loaded with flavonoids, plant pigments and antioxidants that fight disease-causing free radicals. In fact, studies show that the antioxidant concentration of cocoa powder is two times stronger than that of red wine and green tea, and four times that of black tea.